YngNghymru wrote:You don't have to be able to pronounce your language yourself - as long as phonemes are generally salient enough to not merge, whether or not an English speaker finds it difficult to distinguish them is irrelevant.
Yeah, limiting yourself to phonemes that the average English speaker can distinguish seems like a recipe for creating exactly the sort of cyphers of English that I'm always so down on. In general, there's a certain progression among noob conlangers:Stage 1: Thesis
. Your conlangs are all cyphers of your native language. Maybe there'll be a crazy feature or two (e.g. objects first! no verbs!) but they won't be very well thought out and certainly won't take into account how actual natlangs with that feature work.Stage 2: Antithesis
. Your conlangs are all kitchen-sinks. Now you've learned about all sorts of crazy features and you want to use them all
so that your language is nothing like English
! So you have OVS order and
eight kinds of front rounded vowel and
noun cases and
noun classes and
polypersonal agreement on verbs etc. etc. Not even you can keep track of them all and produce sensible sentences.Stage 3: Synthesis
. Eventually, you calm down and some balance is restored. Your conlangs are more focused: Here I'm going to make a language with serial verbs, maybe with an active-stative distinction rather than transitive-intransitive. Here I'm going to make a language with a huge sibilant inventory for a race of snake people. Not everyone gets here, of course, but it's the goal you should be aiming at.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons